Temperature Afghan – April

We’ve hit a bit of a plateau this month. The weather has been fairly mild so I’ve been 20170505_094519getting chunks of the same colour. The temperature did dip a couple of times just to add a bit of diversity, but it’s interesting to see how the afghan has progressed since January.

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Temperature Afghan – March

A little late this month, so it’ll just be a quick update.

I’m late posting for a number of reasons. Family illness being one, the main one being I ran out of Cloud Blue and my local stockist has closed down. I had a little search online for a reasonable supplier, found a couple but still couldn’t come to terms with the fact that for the small amount of wool I wanted i’d be paying just as much for postage as I was for wool, so eventually ended up buying more wool! oh, well.20170413_153503

Anyway, Afghan is going well and with the mild weather I was able to introduce another colour, so it’s all coming together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Temperature Afghan – February

Before we get down to my afghan progress I’ll just share with you my new reference tool. Without 2017-03-02_18-08-29_237-2017-03-02t18_55_53-405giving away too many spoilers I’ve had a few colour changes this month and obviously I’ve removed the bands from the yarns I’m currently using so I needed more of a visual reference for my temperature gauge, so I came up with this.

 

 

 

So, onto my progress and what an interesting month it’s been, weather wise. I ended last month with only two colours on my afghan, and with temperatures teetering very close to my next colour change at the very bottom of my gauge,  I found myself secretly praying for a big temperature drop.

Well as February started and the temperature steadily flip-flopped between ‘bluebell’ and ‘cloudblue’ I thought I wasn’t going to get my wish. Then we had a sudden cold snap, a bit of snow, and I watched the weather reports with anticipation. Alas, it was an all too brief flirtation with the lower end of the temperature gauge.

Then a steady rise in temperature over the next 4 days found me adding ‘sherbert’ to my afghan, I was ever so happy to finally be working with more than two colours, then we had another steady rise in temperature and 4 days later and we were adding one more colour Aspen’.2017-03-01_14-33-53_293-2017-03-02t18_57_59-055-2017-03-02t19_05_45-364-2017-03-02t19_08_27-759

Sadly, that was all the excitement that February had for me, but admittedly ‘bluebell’ is slowly sinking to the bottom of my yarn bag now as the milder weather has me switching between ‘cloud blue’ and ‘sherbert’.

 

 

 

 

 

With the official start of Spring coming (The start of meteorlogical Spring being 1st March, and the Spring Equinox on 20th March) here’s to milder weather and more colours on my afghan.

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Temperature Afghan – January

So to my next challenge update, Temperature Afghan.

I’m actually having quite a bit of fun with this, watching it develop. If you remember these were the colours I chose for my afghan.tempafg

Well, as you can imagine there hasn’t been much temperature variation during January, it’s either been cold or VERY cold.

I’ve decided to do my afghan in straight rows, I had originally intended to do it in treble crochet (Double Crochet in US) as I was worried that any temperature changes that only last for a day wouldn’t show up very w2017-01-13_15-00-21_639ell. Unfortunately after a few days I began to realise that the resulting afghan would be huge! So I frogged the whole thing and started again with Double Crochet (Single crochet US)

 

 

 

 

Which is working out a whole lot better, and is looking quite interesting already.

I’ve also become a little obsessed with the weather, looking out for any significant temperature changes and getting excited when the temperature high for the day drops close to 0°C as I think that’s going to be a rare event and it’s such a nice colour on the chart. Oh well, Winter is not over yet, let’s see what February brings.

 

 

2017 Challenges

So it’s the start of another year, but instead of doing resolutions this year I thought I’d do challenges.

 Challenge #1 – If you’ve read my previous posts you may have come across my ‘reading roulette’ idea. Which is basically a random way of picking my next book to read from the numerous books that have been sitting untouched on my shelves for years. So I’ve expanded on this idea for 2017. I’ve chosen 12 books that I have either never got around to reading or I have only just acquired and want to ensure I read them. These twelve books I have divided these into four categories and chosen 3 for each, I shall be picking one at random every month, and hopefully writing a little about it.

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In by twelve books I’ve chosen;

 3 Contemporary fiction:

  • The Ghost by Arnold Bennet
  • The watchmaker of filigree street by Natasha Pulley
  • Illumination by Matthew Plampin

 3 Classic fiction:

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Andersen’s fairy tales by Hans Christian Anderson
  • Emma by Jane Austen

 3 Non-fiction:

  •  The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry
  • The Running sky by Tim Dee
  • The field guide to Natural Wonders by Ian Whitelaw

 3 Hardbacks:

  • The long earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
  • Under the ivy: the life and music of Kate bush

 

Challenge #2 – Temperature Afghan

For those of you who do not know what one of these is, I’ll explain. Basically it’s an afghan where you knit/crochet a row or two of the afghan in a colour that is pre-chosen for the temperature high for that day, and at the end of the year you have a lovely multicoloured afghan.

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Temperature afghan for the year, divided into two separate afghans. Photo from knittingparadise.com

 

In my area the temperature high for the day rarely drops below 0 degrees and rarely goes above 30 degrees, so I’ve adjusted my gauge accordingly

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and again, once a month I’ll share my progress

Wish me luck!

Craft Challenge – January

So, some of you may have noticed that when it comes to my crafts, especially my knitting, I’m a little bit ‘quirky’ and if I can’t find a pattern for what I want I’ll just make one up. This has led to a few interesting creations, and some eye-catching ones, to the point where at least once a month somebody that has seen one of my creations says those magic words to me “Can you make . . . ?”For example; my sister-in-law sees a hat she likes in a magazine, she sends me the picture with that magic question . . .

“Can you make one of these?”1424360_738667856162720_1562443955_n1459811_738667876162718_1824423503_nand after some experimenting the answer is “yes!

. . . and some gloves to match!”

 

 

 

So I thought I’d make a feature out of it, it might also keep me on the blog a bit more regularly. So welcome to my first ‘Craft Challenge’

This months one was a little different to start of with as a work colleague asked me “Can you crochet?” I’m always a little hesitant to answer this question as technically I can crochet but being a late bloomer I only really know the basics, and half of that I make up as I go along!

You see, I was knitting from a young age as I was taught to knit by my grandmother, my mother was the crocheter of the family but she was left handed so it was tricky to follow her when she showed me. Then in 2008 I went to a festival where a lady in a tent was showing people how to crochet and I picked up a few basic stitches, but never went any further with it as crochet patterns confused me a little and besides, I had my mother to crochet stuff. Then in 2012 my mother passed away, and I wanted to honour her by crocheting a little baby outfit she had wanted to make for my brothers new arrival. Again I found myself absolutely baffled by the instructions and terms and without anyone to show me what to do (I tried googling, but I learn a lot better by watching than reading), and the pattern just got shoved to the back of the craft cupboard, and I carried on getting by on just basics which suited me well, as I was able to incorporate a few crochet bits into my knitting (as you can see from the hat above) and even made a whole crocheted tea cosy, by just making it all up as I went along . . .1466254_10152357251456901_8438894568209531443_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So when I was asked “Can you crochet?” after a little hesitation I answered “Yes, but mostly basic stuff” the next question  was “Can you crochet a giraffe?” never one to shy away from a challenge I said I’d give it a go, and waited in abject fear for her to send the link for the pattern to me, this is what she wanted ‘Crochet Giraffe’ and I was more than a little daunted but thought, hey why not!

Now I didn’t do the stripe effect as I didn’t want to over complicate myself first time out so just stuck with variegated yarn, with the idea of making an ‘experimental’ one before making one in the colours my colleague wanted, and you know what? It was bloody easy!!

I’m so chuffed with my crochet giraffes, and even showed my colleague both of them so she could pick for herself as even the experimental one didn’t turn out as funny looking as I thought it would, what do you think?

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So now when asked “Can you crochet?” with a little more confidence I can say “yes” which is good because I have a feeling I’ve got a challenge coming from my brother!

 

 

 

Silver Linings

I’m gradually getting over my little rant the other day and looking at things from the lighter side. Ok, so I can’t physically do much at the moment so it’s given me a lot of time with my crafts, and I’ve been busy!
My lovely husband had been kind enough to keep me stocked with magazines, and in my ‘Simply Knitting’ mag there was a pattern for some really nice owl mittens. What I liked most about the mittens was the subtlety of the owl design, so I thought I’d give it a try. The pattern was for an adult size but I wanted to make a pair in a childs size, not knowing how to adapt the actual pattern I thought I’d try it with thinner yarn (DK rather than the aran suggested in the pattern) and slightly smaller needles. So I made just one mitten first with the aran suggested in the pattern just to see how easy it was to make. It was really easy, I did misread some of the pattern instructions so the first mitten went a bit wrong, but once I knew what I had done wrong it was all quite straight forward.
They knitted up great, exactly the size I was after aswell.

Another project I completed was a lacy purse. My niece has just been crowned Felixstowe carnival queen and on the day of her crowning the weather was pretty horrible, so I thought it might be nice to knit her a shawl to go with her dress seeing as I had so much time on my hands.
Well a monumental mess-up on my part resulted in me having just 50g of Peter Pan Moondust yarn (beautiful yarn, but not nearly enough for a shawl) and having to wait a few days for more yarn. So whilst I waited I thought I’d put the 50g of moondust yarn to good use and make a purse for my niece too.
There’s a pattern on ravelry for a lacy purse, it looked nice and relatively simple to make so I gave it a go. It was a really good pattern and it used a few techniques I’d never tried before. There was ‘cable cast on’ which gave quite a nice start to the work, ‘magic loop’ which enabled you to use long circular needles to knit short pieces of work, and ‘3 needle cast off’ which joined two pieces of work without a seam. So my dip into the world of new techniques turned out good, I knitted it about half the length that the pattern suggested as I only wanted a clutch purse, also seeing as the pattern was for a bigger purse the strap instructions were for a shoulder strap, so I just crocheted a little wrist strap instead. As I said it turned out well but maybe still a bit big, so might try it again but halving the width of the pattern aswell as the length.

However, the highlight so far came today as I realised that being housebound meant that when the postman comes a-knocking with a parcel for moi I get it straight away, no having to wait 24 hours then queing an eternity at the post office. So basically I was there to greet the postman when these arrived!!

My ‘Art of Quilting’ magazines and best of all . . . my new balls of yarn! The yarn will now enable me to make another monkey outfit (this time with the proper chunky yarn) also a Cow outfit by the same designer and a pair of childrens dungarees. The needles are what I needed for a Berry Hat and a newborn matinee jacket. So excited to get all these and now can’t wait to finish the shawl i’m currently working on so I can get started with all the cute baby outfits.